Three days after the official close of the polls and the country is still on the edge of its seat waiting to find out who will be the next president of the United States. As of Friday morning, the race had still not been officially called with multiple states still too close to call.
The Latest: Democratic candidate Joe Biden is still slightly short of the 270 electoral votes that he needs to seal the victory. While it is still certainly mathematically possible for President Donald Trump to stay in power for another four years, his path is narrowing with each vote dump. The states that are still in play include Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Biden took the lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania overnight on Thursday. Over the last few days, the number of votes landing in the Biden column has increased as a result of a higher proportion of mail-in ballots coming in. These ballots have overwhelmingly favored the Democrats. In addition, more urban areas are finalizing their ballots, helping to boost Biden’s vote count.Read More »
Trump also claimed victory in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, pointing to his early leads in all of those states. It should be noted that Biden is now comfortably ahead in Wisconsin and Michigan and slightly ahead in Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Those close to Trump have said that the campaign will exhaust his legal options for arguing the results in various key battleground states before he gives any type of concession speech.
Next Step for Biden: The Biden campaign has indicated that the former vice president is planning to address the nation on Friday night during the prime time hours. While it is still unclear whether this will be a victory speech or just an update, the campaign feels it is important for Biden to speak. The stage is set in Biden’s hometown in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, is also expected to deliver remarks at the Friday address.
Over the last few days, Biden has stepped into the role of the presumptive president-elect. On Thursday, Biden attended a COVID-19 briefing, presumably to map out his plan to contain the virus if he takes office on January 20. After the briefing, he delivered a short speech, urging his supporters to stay patient as the final votes are tallied.
Democrats Take Senate Seat in Arizona: One race that was finally called by most media outlets on Friday was the hotly contested Senate race in Arizona. Democratic candidate Mark Kelly edged out the incumbent Republican, Martha McSally, in a significant pickup for the party. The Democrats have made visible progress in a state that was once considered to be a conservative stalwart. Changing demographics have landed Arizona as a swing state. In 2018, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema also defeated McSally in a fight for the seat vacated by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. With Kelly’s recent victory, the once Republican stronghold will feature two Democratic senators.
Georgia Set for Two Runoff Elections for the Senate: Just when you think the political drama may be coming to an end, all eyes will focus on Georgia as the stage is set for two runoff elections for the Senate in January. The first runoff contest will be between Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock. Current vote counts show that there will be a likely second runoff between Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff.
Georgia election law states that a candidate cannot advance unless they receive at least 50% of the vote. If this magic number is hit, the election will advance to a runoff. With the fate of the US Senate in the balance, both of these potential races may hold the key to what party takes control of this division of government. No matter what happens, it is clear that both parties will pour an abundance of money and resources into winning the election.
What is Next: It is important to note that the individual states will automatically initiate a formal recount if the vote margins are within a certain error range. Because of this, it may be that some of these close calls will not be decided until well into the next week.
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